National Academy of Sciences elects UGA faculty member Susan Wessler as councilor

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Susan Wessler, Distinguished Research Professor of plant sciences at the University of Georgia, has been elected a councilor of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

Wessler has for several years been a member of the Academy, which represents the summit of career achievements for scientists and engineers in the United States, and only a small fraction of working scientists are elected to the group. Although anyone can suggest a name for membership, formal proposals for nomination must come from members of the Academy.

The Council of the Academy is governed by five officers and 12 councilors, elected from among the membership. This council, which meets six times a year, is responsible to the membership for the activities undertaken by the organization, and for the corporate management of the National Academies.

Wessler is part of a small group of scientists at UGA who are members of the NAS. She is one of five new councilors named by the NAS. Her three-year term begins July 1.

A native of New York City, Wessler received her bachelor’s degree in biology, with honors, from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1974 and her doctoral degree in biochemistry from Cornell University in 1980. After serving a postdoctoral fellowship in the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C. (sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the Carnegie Foundation), she began her career at UGA in 1983 as an assistant professor of botany (now plant sciences), rising through the ranks to full professor of botany in 1992. She became a professor of botany and genetics in the fall of 1993 and a research professor in 1994. In addition, she was director of the Center for Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology from 1991-1996.